We have been posting articles about different ragas, on which Bollywood songs are based. Today, we have selected Raga Pahari and we asked a Sufi expert and singer Ragini Rainu to help us with some information on the given raga. According to her, “A raga comes from a Sanskrit word for The act of coloring or dyeing. Raga is a central feature of Indian Classical Music tradition. Raga is a melodic structure which has the ability to color the mind and affect the emotions of the audience.”
Raga Pahari: Raga Pahari is a simple Raga. It is beautiful, intense, elegant and delicate. It’s origin as the name suggests is from the region of Himalayas. This raga is very popular in rendering Thumries, Ghazals and Bhajans.
Origin: Raga Pahari is a traditional raga and has its roots in the folk music of the Himalayan region. It’s a raga which has been used extensively in Bollywood. These Ragas were not invented but discovered and their origins are thousand years back, hence the history, invention and other such information related to Raga Pahari is not available.
Nuances: Raga Pahari is sung at all times of the day and is sung in the lower and middle octaves. The Thaat of this Raga is Bilawal and it resembles Raga Mand and Pilu. The mood of this raga is romantic, seriousness and deep sadness.
Bollywood and Raga Pahari: Our Bollywood is full of composition based on Raga Pahari. Some of them are: Chaudhvin ka chand ho…, Unse mili nazar ke mere… (Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan – 1968), Aaj mausam bada beiman hai… (Loafer – 1973), Dil Pukare are are…, Saavan ka mahina pawan kare sor… (Milan – 1967), Chalo dildar chalo… (Pakeezah – 1972) and Rula ke gaya sapna mera…
Whenever Bollywood composers base their song on a Raga, we cannot expect them to maintain the purity of the raga as their context is very different. We can only say that these songs are roughly based around the raga.